Soviet Conquest, Berlin 1945

B2119

This is the first publication of memoirs long banned in the Soviet Union, providing a varied and graphic view of the viscous fighting for the German capital. It provides a fresh insight into the workings of the Soviet high command, the tensions between generals and the political influences exerted by Stalin and his embedded Commissars. This book provides surprises and fills in one of the great gaps in English-language histories of WWII. Essential reading for all those who seek to expand their knowledge of WWII and its impact beyond the end of war in 1945.

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NAME: Soviet Conquest, Berlin 1945
DATE: 081214
FILE: R2119
AUTHOR: Tony Le Tissier
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 196
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, Eastern Front, Battle for Berlin, Red Army, German Army, street fighting,command, strategy, tactics, Red Army Commanders
ISBN: 1-47382-110-X
IMAGE: B2119.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/lgwsu7w
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This is the first publication of memoirs long banned in the Soviet Union, providing a varied and graphic view of the viscous fighting for the German capital. It provides a fresh insight into the workings of the Soviet high command, the tensions between generals and the political influences exerted by Stalin and his embedded Commissars. This book provides surprises and fills in one of the great gaps in English-language histories of WWII. Essential reading for all those who seek to expand their knowledge of WWII and its impact beyond the end of war in 1945.

Remarkably little information has travelled West from Russia throughout its history. Since its creation, it is a country that has been ruled ruthlessly by a succession of strong individuals. Each has employed a considerable secret police service and relied on brutality and oppression. When the Revolution ejected the Czar and killed him with his family, very little really changed and in the far flung regions, the Russian peasant could be forgiven for not realizing that the Czar had been replaced. Lenin became in all but name the new Czar, his life shortened by the effects of an assassination attempt. He was rapidly succeeded by Stalin who behaved much as the worse Czars in Russian history, inflicting more pain and death on the Russian peoples than Ivan the Terrible ever managed in the 16th Century. Through Russian history, the Empire has expanded and contracted, with the goals being little different from one ruler to the next.

When Stalin and Hitler signed a peace treaty that cleared the way for a mutual invasion of Poland, the form of WWII had been set. Hitler beat Stalin to the punch and invaded Russia before the Soviets could consider invading Germany. Hitler’s greatest ally was Stalin who had indulged his paranoia by regularly purging the Red Army. Stalin clearly distrusted his soldiers and was determined to remove the officers before they could conspire against him. He also continued the practice of embedding political officers in all Red Army units, to argue with the commanders and report any suspicions back to Moscow. That meant that the Red Army was ill-equipped to defend Russia’s border with Germany against a Nazi attack. The result was that German troops advanced rapidly as they had in all the early battles of WWII. Their vulnerability was that their ultimate commander, Hitler, was a poor battle commander-in-chief who had suffered over confidence and failed to plan equipment for a campaign extending into and beyond a Russian Winter.

As the Germans rapidly advanced, the Nazis acted on their beliefs that Russians were sub-human and could be exterminated in the most brutal manner. Even after the early success and the gradual rise of the Red Army to force the invader westward, the massacres and excesses of the Nazis continued. The level of hatred from both sides was terrible and the Soviets began to return the brutality as they advanced west.

By the time the Red Army had crossed into Germany, Soviet atrocities continued to increase and the final battle or Berlin was set to be a bloodbath. Stalin encouraged this blood-lust and his generals were expected to deliver a rapid victory.

The author has assembled facts, opinions and memoirs of the Soviet generals and the officers below them, to paint a graphic picture of this devastating climax to the war on the Eastern Front. There may be other books to come on this period and some may match the comprehensive research and cogent presentation of this book, but they will have a very hard act to follow. Highly recommended.

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